November 2008 letter
The 25th of November marks the beginning of the Nativity fast, and as Moses fasted forty days to receive the word of God written on the tablets of stone, we also fast to receive the Word of God written “not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2Cor 3: 3).
Let us take advantage of this time to study our bible. From the book of Genesis at the start of the bible we see the fall of Adam and Eve and its results, and at the end in the book of Revelation we find their return. In between we see God’s plan for man’s salvation.
Let’s take a closer look at a comparison between the book of Genesis and Revelation:
v In Genesis the paradise doors close, and in Revelation the Kingdom of Heaven is revealed.
v In Genesis man is expelled from paradise due to his sin, and in Revelation man returns by God’s grace.
v In Genesis Adam is turned away from the tree of life by the Cherubim, but in Revelation Adam returns to it by God’s grace.
v In Genesis we see sadness and death entering into the world, but in Revelation all sadness and death ends.
v In Genesis God does not walk with man again (there is separation), but in Revelation we see “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men” (Rev 21: 3).
v In Genesis we see God’s punishment on all mankind, and in Revelation the punishment is removed.
v In Genesis we hear a promise of salvation, in Revelation we see fulfillment of the promise.
During this month will be the celebration for St. Philopateer Mercurius, on Saturday November 22nd at 7 p.m., with vesper prayers in the presence of H.G. Bishop David, as His Grace will anoint the relics of St. Mercurius. The vesper of his feast will be on Wednesday December 3rd at 7 p.m., and mass will be on Thursday December 4th at 10 a.m.
For our church news, we are renovating the church entrance in preparation of St. Mercurius feast. Our annual banquet will be held on Sunday November 23rd, in favor of the church’s activities and services, particularly the Sunday School.
Please remember the church, the priest, the servants and their services always in your prayers, and may the blessings of St. Mary and St. Mercurius be with us always, Amen.
Fr. Youssef Halim
Belleville, November 1, 2008